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December 7, 2016

How Flying Can Be 'Business Class' For Everyone

Posted by Kumar Paramasivam (View Profile | View All Posts) at 7:46 AM

How Can Flying Be 'Business Class' For Everyone

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, at the dawn of the jet age, nothing was more glamorous than traveling by air. Frank Sinatra even had a hit song - "Come Fly with Me" - about those who were then known as the 'jet set' crowd.

How times have changed. Today flying, especially for the infrequent flier - not the business ones- can be rather unsettling. Security lines at airports are so long that travelers often need to get there a few hours before their flight is scheduled to take off. I say 'scheduled' because how many times has your plane left on time? You would think that with the array of digital tools, big data, and predictive analytics, flying would be as easy as shopping online. But this is not the case - weather, turnaround times, readiness of ground staff, and inter connected flights adds a whole set of hidden complexities to airport management. Unfortunately, airports and several players in the ecosystem have not adequately leveraged digital tools, and so consumers are yet to have the seamless experience that has become an integral part of other industries.

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November 6, 2015

How Travel Is Becoming Smart

Posted by Kumar Paramasivam (View Profile | View All Posts) at 9:49 AM



Bluesmart - The World's First Smart Connected Carry-on Suitcase [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kemdq9Q49D8]

There's no discounting the human desire to travel faster and farther; to push the limits. SpaceX, for instance, is one of the best examples of how radically the travel industry is changing. It's a private rocket company that suffered a setback about six months ago when one of its vessels, carrying a load of cargo for the International Space Station, exploded three minutes after lift-off.

Yet this December, SpaceX plans to return to outer space with an upgraded Falcon 9 rocket. Private space travel companies have customer waiting-lists a mile long, filled with celebrities, business tycoons, and national leaders. A private space firm like SpaceX can get rockets into geosynchronous orbit faster than I can locate my luggage. I'm joking about the luggage -- well, just a bit.

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January 26, 2015

IoT To Enhance Customer Experience in Hospitality and Travel

Posted by Kumar Paramasivam (View Profile | View All Posts) at 11:47 AM



The Internet of Things explained [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_LT_ZKlVQw]

If ever there were industries ready for the Internet of Things - or, as I prefer to call it, the Internet of Everything - it's the transportation and hospitality sectors. Hotel chains have long focused on improving their customer experience and IoT is there to help! There is a continuous feed of news from Consumer Electronics Show that focuses on the fact that the connected theme pervades all industries. The Internet of Things and automation in all walks of life - be it self-driving cars or self-curing machines - is center-stage. There's so much hype. But how much of this hoopla will the companies behind it all deliver to us, the consumers?

Intel has come out with a genie device that you can pop in to just about anything and voila - it turns into a connected device. It is increasingly becoming clear that soon we will have such devices in all walks of life. Beyond connected toaster ovens, I want to know how the hospitality and transportation industries can really leverage the IoT in smart and savvy ways. As I was getting ready for my upcoming travel to another conference I began contemplating what would be the impact of this theme. Here are a few scenarios:

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August 14, 2014

Vertically Disintegrated? We Have Solutions For That.

Posted by Kumar Paramasivam (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:09 AM


The Evolution of IT Outsourcing [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOF54rIIw0Q]

Today, a manufacturing firm can confidently stride across the globe, set up plants, distribution centers, storage facilities, and whatever else it wants with the utmost organizational precision. That confidence - as well as a global footprint - is rooted in the knowledge that the firm has at its disposal an endless array of great software. Whether MRPs, ERPs, demand forecasting, or logistics & supply chain management, there are endless options to ensure that the modern manufacturing company utilizes IT to enhance operations and boost margins.

Every sector and industry should be so lucky. You see, the overarching phenomenon that is offshoring or outsourcing (or whatever you'd like to call it) affects each industry differently. Whereas the aforementioned manufacturer has an IT suite that allows it to reap the efficiencies of having storehouses in Malaysia, a stamping plant in Switzerland, and a sales office in Uruguay, other sectors haven't been as successful. I'm speaking, of course, about the professional services field. Woe to the project manager whose task it is to keep a global operation running seamlessly with the most rudimentary set of IT tools.

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June 23, 2014

Getting Ready For The New Workforce

Posted by Kumar Paramasivam (View Profile | View All Posts) at 11:45 AM


Business Insider Interview on Workplace Flexibility [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KCXJ3BpBf4]

I recently came across a fascinating movie from the late 1950s that deals with some of the same issues the corporate world is struggling with today. It turns out that very little has changed in the last half-century when it comes to how enterprises cope with an ever-evolving workforce.

The movie is called Desk Set. It stars Spencer Tracy as an efficiency expert who is hired by a large media company to find ways to streamline operations and save money. He stumbles upon the reference department headed by Katherine Hepburn; her headstrong character futilely resists the installation of a computer that Tracy claims would do the work of six librarians. The computer, which takes up an entire room, is fed punch cards. It performs extremely well until it accidentally prints out dismissal notices on pink slips to everyone in the company, including the CEO!

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